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A Brief History of the Marching Drum

Introduction | Rope Tension | Rod Tension | Short Lug | Full Lug | Early Kevlar | Later Kevlar


Rod Tension

The first rod tension drums were introduced by the Premier Drum Company of England to pipe bands in 1932. They were first played at the Cowal Games by Dalziel Highland Pipe Band, Scotland, and led by Drum Major Jimmy Catherwood. The drum corps won the worlds Drumming Championships playing a full set of these new Premier snare, tenor and bass drums. At that time the snare drum was only fitted with bottom snares. The drums had a wooden shell with eight tension rods and metal counter hoops. Though a wooden counter hoop was introduced for some Military bands.


After the 1939/45 war, the Premier Drum Company, with the assistance and advice of Drum Major Gordon Jelly of Dalziel Highland Pipe Band and other leading drummers, developed a new style of pipe band drum called "The Royal Scot". The first models were only fitted with bottom snares but in the early 1950's the internal top snare was introduced. At that time Premier were producing wooden-shelled pipe band rod tension drums.

At the end of the 1940's the London based company of John Dallas and Sons Ltd, (who made television cabinets) manufactured the "Carlton Gaelic" range of pipe band drums. These became very popular and were to win many World Pipe Band and Solo Drumming Championships over the next decade. It had a great snare drum sound and permitted much faster beating within the snare drum scores. Rope Tension


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